Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies before the Senate Environment Committee to be considered for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator in Washington, D.C., on 18 January 2017. Photo: Riccardo Savi—Sipa / AP

By Timothy Cama And Devin Henry
6 October 2017

(The Hill) – The Trump administration will soon propose repealing the Obama administration’s climate change rule for power plants but won’t commit to replacing it with another regulation.

A draft of the proposal obtained by The Hill on Friday asserts that under former President Barack Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Clean Power Plan that “is not within Congress’s grant of authority to the agency under the governing statute.”

“The EPA is proposing to repeal the CPP in its entirety,” the agency writes in the notice that would be published in the Federal Register.

“The EPA proposes to take this action because it proposes to determine that the rule exceeds its authority under the statute, that those portions of the rule which arguably do not exceed its authority are not severable and separately implementable, and that it is not appropriate for a rule that exceeds statutory authority — especially a rule of this magnitude and with this level of impact on areas of traditional state regulatory authority — to remain in existence pending a potential, successive rulemaking process.”

The administration is expected to roll out the proposed repeal as early as Friday, which would open what is certain to be a fierce regulatory battle over the limits of the EPA’s authority and its responsibility to fight climate change.

The regulation was the pillar of Obama’s aggressive second-term climate agenda, in which he sought to take unilateral actions to fight climate change after Congress refused to pass cap-and-trade legislation. […]

Environmentalists slammed the EPA’s decision on Friday, with the Natural Resources Defense Council calling it a “dirty power plan.”

They also questioned the EPA’s recalculation of the rule’s proposed benefits, including fewer deaths from pollution-related health problems and lower climate change-related costs.

“We already knew Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt reject science, but this smearing of the Clean Power Plan’s massive public benefits shows they reject basic math, too,” Liz Perera, the climate policy director at the Sierra Club said. “The Trump administration’s assault on the Clean Power Plan is about one thing and one thing only: helping corporate polluters profit.” [more]

EPA moves to repeal Obama climate rule 'in its entirety'

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